Masonry 3 Columns
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Last June, I took a short break from work and went on a trip to Messenia, a region in the southwest of the Greek Peloponnese. It's home to Costa Navarino, a luxury travel destination I had already visited a couple of years ago. I can confirm, after staying at a Costa Navarino hotel for the second time, that Costa Navarino has mastered the craft of relaxed and understated Greek luxury. This is probably why the likes of Ronaldo and NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo like this place so much. If you want to know more about my stay at Costa Navarino, the room and the activities: read on!
Last week I became the proud owner of a brand new OPPO Find X5 Pro, the new flagship phone from the trendy mobile communications company OPPO. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t planning on changing phones at the moment as the smartphone I had was only a few months old. But the opportunity came and it was too good to let it pass. Besides, I heard great things about the built-in camera! And since I was leaving for Mallorca a few days later, I was excited to see how it would perform on my trip there. Did I like using it? and even more, would I dare to take on the challenge of leaving my camera home and shooting pictures only with the OPPO Find X5 Pro?
Santa got me the most amazing gift this year! One cold morning in December, I found a large box underneath the Christmas tree. I didn't question how Santa was able to get it through the chimney, and opened up the box right away. It turned out to be the U32U1, a 31.5 inch 4K-monitor from AOC. I've been using it for my photography work for a while now, so I thought it was time to do a review. Let’s find out why I like this monitor so much.
In October I went to the beautiful island of Tenerife for the very first time. Having only visited Lanzarote before, I already knew the Canary Islands had a lot to offer in terms of impressive landscapes, but Tenerife still surprised me – in a good way of course! It offers a remarkable mix of beaches, forests and rugged volcano landscapes. Here’s why I think my Tenerife itinerary is ideal for first-time visitors!
In July I found myself in the beautiful city of Ghent. Now I hear you say: how’s that a trip for you? You literally live in Belgium! Well that’s correct, and I’ve actually been to Ghent many times before. But because I went there with photography in mind and stayed a few days, it truly felt like a refreshing getaway. I stayed at The Librarian, one of the 5 Heirloom Hotels in the heart of Ghent. Let me tell you all about it.
One of the world’s most far flung destinations nestled in the Indian Ocean is the Seychelles, home to natural wonders and marvelous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean famously known as a home to numerous beaches and hidden coves, coral reefs and nature reserves. The warmest time of year is generally April, with a few drops of rain likely between December and February, although it never stays long.
After years of instability, Jordan is wooing tourists back in their droves. The Middle Eastern country hoped to welcome 7 million a year in 2020, until the Covid-19 crisis happened of course. Jordan offers some of the most spectacular scenery of the Middle Eastern region, it's safe travel there and the people are friendly. The history of the country goes back thousands of years and some of the world's most amazing UNESCO Heritage Sites are located here. But where do you stay?To make your visit to this marvelous country truly unforgettable, read along to find out which are the most unique hotels in Jordan.
South Africa is usually named in one breath with the word Safari. But when you do a safari, you want to do it the right way! A lot of people are saving up to do a safari and most of us will only experience this once in their lifetime. That’s why I definitely recommend to spend some extra cash on a luxury retreat in a private game reserve so you have the best safari experience you can imagine. During my recent stay in South Africa I had the amazing honor to stay at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge. Let’s have a look at why this lodge might be one of the best in the country!
The Panorama Route is one of the most famous roads in South Africa. With views for days and impressive waterfalls, it’s not rocket science why they call this the Panorama Route. When you’re in the area, you should absolutely visit some viewpoints along this route. It can easily be combined with a safari experience at the nearby Kruger National Park. In case you’re on a tight schedule as I was, it’s good to know that the route can be done in one day, but I recommend you to start early in the morning. All viewpoints are already open at 7 AM and the sun is already high up in the sky by that time.
Morocco and more specifically Marrakech is a popular holiday destination and this also shows on Instagram. And let's be honest, we all want to show off the beauty on Instagram. I mean I can't blame you, there's something very rewarding about making a beautiful picture. Some of the Riads in Marrakech are so beautiful on their own, you don't have to put much effort in trying to take a great picture there. Read along to find out which are in my opinion the 9 most instagrammable riads in Marrakech!
Every year, millions of tourist visit Crete for holiday. Crete is an amazing island and I would recommend anyone to go there. Believe me, if you've been there once, you would want to go back! But there's an infinite amount of hotels to choose from, which makes it hard to make the right decision. If you're like me, you want everything to be perfect during your holiday. Maybe you've been saving up all year for it so it would be a shame if the hotel of your choice was not quite up to standard. Or perhaps you're looking for that perfect resort to spend your honeymoon? Look no further, Crete is the place to be. Let me list 8 of the most luxurious hotels in Crete for you. Some of these resorts rank among the most exclusive hotel properties in the world.
Only the best is good enough for the wealthy traveler. The most discerning travelers among us are in search of the most exquisite hotels and resorts. And what better place to search at, than at the stunning Italian Amalfi Coast? A place that oozes classic luxury and comfort. Behind the colorful facades, you’ll find some of the most luxurious hotels the region has to offer. Read along to find out which are in my opinion the 5 best luxury hotels along the Amalfi Coast!
Bij het plannen van je reis vermijd je ongetwijfeld liefst de administratieve rompslomp om een visum aan te vragen. Veel reizigers vinden het aanvragen van een visum een moeilijke oefening. En als je dit aan een reisbureau overlaat moet je hen alle informatie verschaffen, met het risico op fouten. Hoe weet je of je een visum nodig hebt voor een bepaald land? Is er een verschil als je op vakantie gaat of voor zaken naar het buitenland moet? Zijn er bepaalde voorwaarden of beperkingen in tijd? Dit alles kom je te weten op VisumBuitenland.be.
Het is december en 2019 was ongetwijfeld ook voor jou een druk jaar. Stiekem droom je weg om er nog eens een paar dagen tussenuit te zijn. Snak je ook naar een welverdiende vakantie in de wintermaanden? Of kijk jij er alweer naar uit om er met de ganse familie tijdens de zomer op uit te trekken? Dan vind je bij Natuurhuisje vast en zeker een leuke accommodatie!
In early November I had the chance to embark on the MSC Grandiosa, the newest cruise ship ofthe highly popular European cruise line MSC Cruises. This brand new cruise ship is currently the flagship of the entire MSC fleet. There’s absolutely no bigger or better cruise ship in the line-up. Moreover, the MSC Grandiosa is currently the sixth-largest cruise ship in the world and has a few amazing features that might blow some of the competition away. Read my review to find out if this magnificent cruise ship really lives up to her name!
The island of La Réunion (Île de la Réunion in French) is becoming increasingly more popular to visit. Ile de la Réunion is an overseas department and region of French. Familiar road signs, speaking French, free data roaming and paying in Euro, hurray! The island is mostly visited by French people, but partly due to the effect that Instagram has on tourism, this is rapidly changing. Only a handful of Instagram influencers have been to La Réunion so far and I was happy to be one of the first. Now I’m sharing my experiences to make your trip in La Réunion even more awesome. Having explored every corner of the island, I present you the 13 most instagrammable places in La Réunion! Today in part 3: the best viewpoints of the island!
The island of La Réunion (Île de la Réunion in French) is becoming increasingly more popular to visit. Ile de la Réunion is an overseas department and region of France. Familiar road signs, speaking French, free data roaming and paying in Euro, hurray! The island is mostly visited by French people, but partly due to the effect that Instagram has on tourism, this is rapidly changing. Only a handful of Instagram influencers have been to La Réunion so far and I was happy to be one of the first. Now I’m sharing my experiences to make your trip in La Réunion even more awesome. Having explored every corner of the island, I present you the 13 most instagrammable places in La Réunion! Previously in part 1 I spoke about the volcanic wonders. Today in part 2: the most beautiful waterfalls of the island!
The island of La Réunion (Île de la Réunion in French) is becoming increasingly more popular to visit. Ile de la Réunion is an overseas department and region of France. Familiar road signs, speaking French, free data roaming and paying in Euro, hurray! The island is mostly visited by French people, but partly due to the effect that Instagram has on tourism, this is rapidly changing. Only a handful of Instagram influencers have been to La Réunion so far and I was happy to be one of the first. Now I'm sharing my experiences to make your trip in La Réunion even more awesome. Having explored every corner of the island, I present you the 13 most instagrammable places in La Réunion! Today in part 1: everything that has do to with the volcanic activity on the island!
For my second leg of my trip in Ile de la Réunion, I was looking for a hotel on the west side of the island. Most hotels are located in this part of the island, so it is the most vibrant area with a lot of stuff to do. I stayed in the brand new Ness by D-Ocean. Let’s discover how I liked my stay.
In June I went on holiday to La Réunion, and because I wanted to see the entire island, I needed a place to stay in the south of the island. This way, I could use that hotel as a starting point to explore the entire southern part of La Réunion! I found my paradise within paradise at Villa Delisle in Saint-Pierre, the largest town in the southern part of La Réunion. I must say I really enjoyed this intimate hotel with modern facilities and Creole interiors. Read along to find out why.
As you might have seen on my Instagram, I spent a couple of days in Gozo, Malta’s second largest island. Gozo is a popular day trip destination to escape the busy atmosphere of the Malta’s main island. There’s only one way of getting there: taking the ferry. Whether you’re going for a day trip or stay for a couple of days like me, here’s all you need to know about the ferry to Gozo island.
Last may I got to spend a few days in Gozo. I skipped Malta for the most part and headed straight to Gozo. Most people only go to Gozo for a day trip, as it’s only a short ferry transfer away. I spent four days in Gozo but could have easily stayed a couple days more without feeling bored. Heck, dare I say I would stay in Gozo and do a day trip to Malta instead of the other way around? Continue reading to see which are my favorite free attractions and things to see in Gozo.
Last month I checked another Polish city off my list. Having been almost everywhere in Poland, from Wroclaw to Lublin and many more, this vast country doesn’t have many secrets for me anymore. However there was one area that was still a blank spot on my map: Pomerania and its capital Gdansk. As it turns out, Gdansk is actually part of a larger metropolitan area consisting of three cities: Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia. This means there’s three times as much to do than I initially expected! Read along to learn more about this interesting Polish region.
Last month I found myself on a trip in the beautiful Dominican Republic. I had been to the Caribbean many times over the last couple of years. However somehow, I had always skipped the Dominican Republic. Honestly? I thought it was going to be too touristy for me. I didn’t want to sit in an all-inclusive resort for 14 days not to see anything of the country. But when the tourism board of the Dominican Republic invited me over, I thought I gave it a try. Spoiler alert: it did not disappoint!
Last week I checked yet another thing off my bucket list: being the captain of my own boat for a few days. And the best thing was, I drove it myself and I didn’t need a permit for it! Me and a few others teamed up with Nicols, a company that is providing boating holidays for which you don’t need a license. They’re quite active in France, Germany and Portugal, but since April 2019 you can now rent their boats in Kerkdriel, the Netherlands. And that’s exactly what a group of friends and I did. Read along to find out why renting a boat from Nicols in the Netherlands was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever done!
I was invited to spend a few days in the border region between Germany and Luxemburg called the Eifel. It’s a tranquil area where you can really come at peace and you feel like what’s happening in the rest of the world doesn’t matter anymore. Read along how I kept myself busy during the first days of what would turn out to be a really good European summer!
Last week I embarked on a cruise to Western Caribbean cruise on Holland America’s Oosterdam along with my dad. Arriving the day before from Europe, we needed a one-night stay in a hotel in Tampa. A lot of popular pre-cruise hotels are located in the Rocky Point Area west of the airport, but we opted for Le Méridien , a hotel in downtown Tampa, so we could do some exploring of the nearby surroundings and go for a walk to the historic Ybor City.
During our last visit to Prague my girlfriend and I stayed at the Boscolo hotel. Boscolo is a small Italian 5-star hotel chain, with hotels in Prague, Budapest, Nice, Rome, Venice and Milan. Having previously resided in Boscolo Exedra Nice and Boscolo Budapest, I had no doubt the hotel in Prague would be of the same superb quality.
Mmmm, Let’s talk food, shall we?
My morning routine: wake up, head straight to Emmerys. Really, Emmerys, on the corner of Klostergade and Guldsmedgade, is a great place to start your morning. You can order breakfast to go, or sit back and enjoy the quiet morning with a cup of coffee. They really focus on organic, healthy and ecological food and drinks, like beet juice. If there weren't so many cool things to see around Aarhus, you could spend your whole morning there. I saw lots of people reaching for their portable and using the cozy bakery as a workplace.
So it's been a while since I'm back from Prague but boy do I miss it! If you're a fellow European this lovely city is the perfect place for a city trip (we even spent the whole week there and could easily stay longer!). For non-Europeans, Prague is ideal to get a taste of the great atmosphere and architecture Europe has to offer. I've been seeing a lot of Americans that are doing a European holiday and apart from the obvious choices (Paris, London, Rome) some of them dare to add Prague to their journey. I have yet to see a disappointed tourist in Prague!
During our trip to Prague, we made some time to head away from the busy city and visited the Zoo! It's located outside the city centre and although you can get there by bus or even by boat plus a short walk after that, I recommend taking a taxi like we did. From our Boscolo hotel in Praha 1 - the city centre - it was about 450 CZK and you're being dropped of right at the very entrance. Our taxi driver gave us his phone number so we didn't have to go through the hassle of finding a cab to get back (I didn't spot a designated taxi stop at first sight there).
Last week, me and my girlfriend visited Prague. We'd both been there as kids but didn't remember much and we sure weren't interested in culture back then. So we went back! During our first full day in this lovely city, we did the Prague Discovery Tour organized by Prague Urban Adventures. Our tour guide Pete waited for us at 9 in the morning at the Municipal House. With a small group of around 10 people, we went for a walk in the city. On our first stop, Wenceslas square, which we reached through a hidden pedestrian gallery, we learned more about the history of Prague, like the Prague Spring in 1968 or the Velvet Revolution!
Last week I had the honor of visiting two very impressive venues right in the heart of Brussels: Concert Noble and Bibliothèque Solvay. The venues are owned by Edificio, specialized in hosting exclusive events. Edificio provides a complete package, which means they assist you with all the organisational aspects of your event, e.g. providing audio-visual equipment, musicians, custom decorations...
Apart from the iconic Palace of Culture and Science, there was another attraction I particularly enjoyed in Warsaw and it's the Fryderyck Chopin Museum. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, I think it's a must see for anyone a bit interested in culture or classical music.
Fryderyck Chopin is one of Poland's most famous people. He was a music composer and pianist from the 19th century. I'm not gonna give you a boring lecture about his life or work, the museum can teach you much better, and less boring!
You hear a lot about how flying is so expensive and how even the most well-known airlines are making losses. They try to come up with new ideas like creating their own budget airline, like Lufthansa's Eurowings, or United's TED (which no longer exists), but they don't seem to succeed in making profit. While many major airlines are struggling, it seems budget airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, or Wizzair are thriving. But how do budget airlines manage to survive then?
Before my trip to Warsaw, I said to myself there's one building I really want to see during my short stay there and it's the famous Palace of Culture and Science.
If you're ever in Mexico, chances are you're going to do an activity that involves Mayan culture. Eastern Mexico has some extraordinary archeological sites, of which the best known and most beautiful are those in Tulum, Cobá (Quintana Roo) and Chichén Itzá (Yucatan).
I went to visit the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Quintana Roo, which was available as a cruise excursion on the Celebrity Silhouette. Almost every cruise line that docks in Cozumel offers this, and even if you're staying in a resort there, I'm sure the hotel can set you up for an excursion.
The trip started with a ferry ride from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen. I'm used to rough seas, but still managed to get seasick! As did all the other passengers. What a ride! Maybe it had something to do with the boat being a catamaran, I don't know. Anyway, after that all went super great! In Playa del Carmen we were up for a bus ride and a mandatory stop at one of the shops along the road. I can't believe someone acutally buys something there. Since this was the first time in Mexico for me, I found it to be very interesting to see how that part of the country looked like. Lots of abandoned buildings on the right hand side of the road, luxurious resorts on the left side. And absolutely nothing to do in the environment. It clearly is intended for the resort guest to not leave the area if you're not going on an excursion. A bit later we arrived at the archeological site. Lots of colorful wild birds there, and iguanas running wild! It's actually quite a big area there and the ruins were in good condition. You get a really good impression of how life would have been in Tulum, which served as a main port for Cobá. Main attractions are the Great Palace, and the Castillo, right on a cliff by the seaside!
If you plan on going to Tulum, don't forget your swimwear. There's a beautiful, intimate beach on site, which wasn't very busy at the time I visited.
If you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend going to Tulum!
In a few months I'm going back to visit Chichén Itzá. For those who went there, feel free to share your thoughts below!
In October 2015, I did a cruise on the Mediterranean sea aboard the Norwegian Epic. During September and October, the Epic underwent a massive refurbishment to get the 2010 ship back in mint condition. There were also a few new shows added to the line-up, such as Priscilla Queen of the Dessert, and Burn the Floor.
Last weekend I went to visit an outdoor art exhibition called The Crystal Ship. Place to be was the coastal city of Ostend, Belgium.
The concept was that international and national artists create gigantic murals and art installations, spread all over the city. The art festival featured artists like Jaz, Roa and Isaac Cordal. Belgian's national radio Studio Brussel created a lot of buzz for this event, so quite some people showed up, although I'm guessing the first sun rays of the year had something to do with that too.[gallery ids="374,369,373,387" type="slideshow"]
While it's an absolutely great idea, the organization lacked experience. Although a small plan was available to take with you along your walk and the murals were numbered, things could have been a bit more planned. For instance murals 7, 14 and 19 were next to each other. Moreover the map failed to provide a recommended route. Some were also way too far from the city centre if you were on foot, as was the case for most people.[gallery ids="384,375,376" type="rectangular"]
We ended up seeing only a few murals and spent the rest of the day soaking up the sun on the beach. On the bright side, even the two-week arts festival is over, the murals will remain visible for 2 more years, until the next edition where they plan to add several more![gallery ids="372,371" type="rectangular"]
So you're planning a road trip & wondering if it's your thing ay? A couple of months ago I did a 2 week roadtrip through Sweden and Norway so you've come to the right place for tips & tricks. But first, let's start with the advantages of going on a road trip shall we:
- You determine where you go & how much time you spend. You're not restricted to a certain area, cause after all, you've got your car with you! Wanna go see some obscure Stavkirke in Norway? Go for it. Wanna plan an entire day for shopping? Knock yourself out. You really get to choose what you do & that to me is a great advantage.
- Get to know your fellow roadtrippers better. Spending a lot of time on the road is a great way to really intensify your bond with whoever you're going with.
- Driving across the landscape and through small towns gives you a unique perspective. You can cruise around in your car & truly experience the little nooks & crannies of the country you're visiting.
Now lets get to the planning part. I know this might seem tedious but a good planning really does make all the difference:
- Buy a map of your destination. You're GPS is a shady bitch, don't trust her. Roads are always changing so it happened numerous times to us that had we followed the GPS instructions to turn left, we would have ended up smack dab in the middle of permafrost. Don't land in the permafrost, it ain't as frosty as you think. A map also allows you to be a bit more flexible if some road is busted open for some obscure road works. We would highly recommend following that country road, it leads to amazing scenery & interesting little villages.
- Make a rough plan of what you want to visit. Freedom is great, but endless dwelling without really knowing where you going not so much. Find the things you really want to see and try to plan your trip around that.
- Airbnb is your bae. If you're anything like us (meaning poor-ish) you're looking to stick to your budget. Airbnb is a great way to do that. You also have the benefit of being able to stay in very remote areas & you also meet the most interesting people. Perhaps they have some time off and can come along to show you a hidden treasure of their country, of maybe they take you out for dinner with a few of their friends!
- Be realistic about how much time you're going to spend in your car. Don't plan more than 6 hours of driving a day. More than that will take a toll & that would seriously diminish your traveling pleasure. It would also be helpful if the people you're traveling with can also drive, that way you can rotate & cover more distance.
- Super practical tip: get your insurance in order before you leave. Your car insurance should normally be fine, but if you're traveling in Europe it might be interesting to look into the European health insurance card. Aside from that it might be a good idea to write down a few numbers you can call in case of emergency.
So here goes. I'm sure there are lots of other tips I can't come up with right now. What would you recommend before going on a road trip?
And I don't mean you should avoid those airlines, on the contrary! If you're considering flying cheap, you're goddamn right. But when's the best time to book flights with low-cost airlines? A number of factors make the prices fluctuate a lot, more than is the case with conventional airlines.
Use Airhint to find out when's the best time. Just give in the date and destination on their website and it tells you if now's a good time to buy, or if maybe you should wait a few days. It also says how confident the website is in its prediction.
In the example below, I did a quick search for a flight from Budapest to Brussels Charleroi on June 24. As you can see there's a good chance the price will drop somewhere between now and June, as the price they are offering now is the maximum price.
This helpful tool lets you check the outbound flight and return flight separately. In fact, for the return flight of your trip, today might be the best time to book, while for the outbound flight, it's advised to wait. There's no problem in booking flights separately since low-cost airlines don't charge extra for one-way tickets.
Airhint helps you be the ultimate cheapskate! Happy traveling!
- Be flexible, in a number of ways.
- Find out when's the high, low and shoulder season of your desired location. Flights prices vary accordingly.
- Find out when are the cheapest flights days of the week. Often, flying on a Tuesday will be cheaper than on a Monday or Friday. If you don't follow the normal workweek / weekend schedule, this can save you a lot of money.
- If you're flexible, you can also search for last minutes and promotions. Best example is Ryanair, which is not always cheap, flights can be 6 euros one way, but they mights as well be 70 euros. If it doesn't matter if you have to go in April or November instead of August, then I'd say go for it!
- If you're not flexible but have a certain date in mind, I recommend you use Flight Aggregator sites, which do the search for you. Make sure you use multiple of them, because they do not all display the same price. If you find the cheapest rates, don't forget to double check on the website of the airline itself. My favorites are:
- If you don't mind, fly low-cost airlines. Within Europe I prefer Ryanair, with fares as low as 5 euros, but also WizzAir, Vueling and TuiFly. For transatlantic flights check out TuiFly, Wow Air and Norwegian!
When I searched the internet for travel tips, all I came across where articles that advise you to use a credit card that saves travel points. But I'm based in Belgium, and in Europe airline credit cards are far less commonly used than in the United States. In my opinion, for European travelers an airline credit card is handy but not a must. I'll tell you why.
If you fly a lot, it can be wise to sign up for the membership program of your airline or airline alliance. Each time you fly, you gain miles. Even more, there are airline credit cards that let you collect miles while shopping. At some point, you'll be able to turn your precious points into a free flight. But the other times when you aren't flying for free, your flights will not be the cheapest you can get. If you're like me, it's the destination that counts. That's why I prefer to fly low cost airlines, like Ryanair, Jetairfly, Easyjet or WizzAir.
I fancy going to Budapest? 25 euros for a return flight. Prague with my girl? No problem, I'll go ahead and book the outbound flight for 15 euros, and I'll wait a bit until there's a cheaper time to book the return flight. Berlin? 10 dollars per flight. Heck, that's cheaper than a domestic train ticket around here! For citytrips like these, hand luggage is sufficient so you don't have to pay extra luggage fees. With other airlines, luggage fee is often included in the more expensive price for the flight, even if you don't make use of it. European flights are rarely longer than 2 hours, the limited service is not too hard to endure.
If you're traveling long distance, which for me personally - and I assume for a lot of you also - happens less often than short distance, I recommend booking way in advance. Flights from Europe to the United States are relatively cheap the moment they become available and the price does not tend to decrease a lot over time. Use flight aggregator sites like Skyscanner to find the cheapest one available for you.
(pic source: bizjournals.com)
I’m Ben and I go places. But that’s not enough to get to know me properly, right?
I’m a 26 year old guy based in Belgium. A couple of years ago it hit me: life is short and you got to enjoy it. One thing that gives me great pleasure, is the beauty and diversity of various destinations. I have a job like anyone else, but try to travel as much as possible, whether it is with my girlfriend, family, friends or solo. Since I love telling about the places I visited, I hope to share my travel tips & tricks with you!
But hey, don’t forget the beauty of home. Belgium is a beautiful country and is often overlooked. For visitors who are not from around, maybe this site might help to persuade you to pay this hidden treasure a visit!
Feel free to contact me, I love to chat!